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>> welcome back to "face the nation." for tonight's "60 minutes," scott pelley interview mark owen, the navy seal who has a new book out called "no easy day." owen is a fictitious name. he's trying to protect his identity as he reveals that he's one of the seals who shot bin laden. tonight we're going to learn one of the most important people also involved in the raid was a woman, a cia analyst named jen, who briefed the navy seals about the raid. here's more from tonight's interview. >> i can't give her enough credit. i mean, she, in my opinion, she kind of ted teeeds this this whe thing, wicked smart, kind of feisty. and we'd always talk back and forth-- "what do you think the odds of this are? what do you think the odds of that are?
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what do you think? 100%?" >> pelley: and you thought what? >> we'll see. >> scott pel seback with us to talk about the other big interview he's been working on, this one for tonight's smipt. and, scott, what a fascinating detail about all the people involved in this raid. i did not know about this cia analyst, a woman who briefed these navy seals on just about every detail. >> pelley: well, that's exactly right, norah. she had worked on osama bin laden's case, according to mark owen, for more than five years when they finally found the house in pakistan. she worked on all of that intelligence. jen, as you mentioned, is the name they used in the book, but all of the names in the book-- at least the names of the operatives in the book-- are fictitious. he changed them all to conceal their identities. jen got on the plane with the seals and flies to afghanistan with them, and that conversation that he's talking about in which he says she's 100% sure that osama bin laden is in the house, that occurs on the airplane, as
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they're flying to afghanistan. of course, you may recall, norah, that the president and leon panetta and others have all said that they were only about 70% sure that bin laden was in the house. no one had ever seen him for sure. no one had ever confirmed that he was there, but this analyst, based on everything she knew, told the seals, "look, guys, 100%, he's there." and mark owen tells us in the "60 minutes" interview tonight that every single thing that she told them turned out to be exactly right. >> wow. scott, what about the timing of this book? some have suggested, since it comes right in the middle of the presidential campaign, that it has a lot to do with politics. what have you learned? >> pelley: you know, mark-- nothing gets under mark owen's skin more than that question, i think. because mark owen always intend forward this book to come out on the anniversary of 9/11, which, of course, is this week.
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so it happens to be in the heat of the presidential campaign. many people look at almost everything through that lens at this point in time. but mark owen says on "60 minutes" tonight, shame on anyone who thinks this is about politics. it has nothing to do with politics. it is just an effort to get the history of the raid straight, and it was time for the 9/11 anniversary. >> scott, i have to ask you, mark owen, of course, is a fictitious name of this navy seal. and some news organizes have ore already revealed his real name. does that put him in danger and what do you think about that? >> pelley: well, you know, norah this has been, personally, very disturbing development for me. we have been meeting with this man for more than two months, and the single thing that concerned him the most was he didn't want his name to get out, for two reasons. one, he says this story is not about me. it's about the hundreds of
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americans who made this happen. he says in our interview that the seals really just took care of the last 40 minutes, but other americans had worked on this for years. and the other thing is, of course, his personal safety. i mean, if the enemy knew where he was, who he was, his life would be in jeopardy. any family members that he might have, including his extended family, might be in jeopardy. so when a news organization put his actual name out, apparently leaked from the pentagon, it was a very disturbing thing. i can't think of a reason that that helps the public's knowledge of these events, that the public has the right to know the names of people who are involved in covert counter-terrorism organizations working on behalf of the united states. we are not using his real name, even though it's out there and other news organizations have carried it. we are sticking to our promise to him to use the fictitious
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name that he uses in the book. >> and on that note, too, scott, cbs news went to great lengths to protect his identity and the way he looks. tell us about that, because when you see mark owen in this interview, that's not what this navy seal really looks, correct? >> pelley: not at all. if you saw the real man you would not recognize him. in fact, when i saw hem with his makeup on, i didn't recognize him. we at "60 minutes" hired really the best hollywood makeup artists, and they worked with him for many, many days to perfect a disguise that would change his look entirely. and without getting into a great deal of detail, it took about four or five hours every day before our interviews to transform his appearance into what you see on "60 minutes." he does not look anything like the man that you see. >> all right, scott pelley's full interview, an hour long, on "60 minutes" tonight.
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scott, thank you so much. >> pelley: 48 to be with you, norah, thank you. >> with us now, former clinton press secretary and and from "vanity fair" dee dee myers, and david sanger from the "new york times," and author of "confront and conceal." and last but of course not least, our political director john dickerson. welcome to all of you. david, let me start with you. it's going to be a full hour tonight on "60 minutes." with mark owen and scott pelley. the pentagon says that this navy seal is in material breach of his secrecy agreements with the u.s. government. what do you think of that? >> norah, all seals, like anybody who conducts classified missions or has access to classified information, sign an agreement with the government. i haven't seen what the agreement says, but i'm willing to believe that the fact that he didn't give the book in advance for clearance probably puts him in some kind of breach. but the big question is, did he
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reveal anything in this book that is going to materially hurt the united states? and, you know, the story that he tells is a fascinating one. no one can replicate the idea of going up the steps where bin laden is at the top. but all the really fascinating debates about the bin laden raid i think happen it's political debates that might affect the election-- happened before the raid was approved as the president changed the plan. and the book doesn't really take you into that. and it doesn't seem to take you that much into their operations. >> michael, is there an argument to be made that given-- going after bin laden that this is an important historical book and that americans deserve to know a lot of the details of what happened? >> i don't know. it depends on whether it's changing and undermining the culture of the military that works so well in these cases. when robert e. lee was asked to write a memoir, he said, "i refuse to trade on the blood of
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my men." that's the traditional military attitude towards these kind of things. i think the tell-all culture is not particularly consistent with the military culture, particularly of special forces where these are unbelievably effective guys, but they're effective because they're quiet. so i think there's something at stake here. >> yeah, and some of the revealing it's training and the organizational structure of these units has been very upsetting to people in the military who guard those secrets as if-- they are national security secrets. it is a breach of the culture internally, as much as some of the legal concerns. >> john, let's talk about the political ramifications, if there are any. you heard scott pelley say mark owen resists this idea this was put out to influence the presidential campaign. it was put out to be on the 9/11 anniversary, which happens this week. what-- what context do you think it has at all? >> well, the political context you've got two possibilities. one is that it highlights a great foreign policy
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accomplishiment for the obama administration, and so this is an area where it's not only does the president lead mitt romney on the question of who can handle a crisis, but it also goes to leadership. and one of the questions in this election is which of these two men do you think can be a leader. that's the positive side for the president. the double play side is this looks like he's trading on the blood of men and that he's keepingenning the accomplishment and endangering and changing the culture, that the president and his seam get associated with being too rah-rah-- >> right, but the president didn't write this book. >> he didn't write the book but it comes into the public conversation. joe biden's line,"bin laden is dead, g.m. is alive." bin laden when mentioned and even shown on the screen, the cheers went up like crazy which made some democrats uncomfortable. but the book brings the thing back into conversation, which has political upsides but it also has downsides if terms of looking like the president is trying to take too much credit for this. >> what about that? clearly jobs and the economy is
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the number one issue, but afghanistan is significant. we still have and will at the end of this september, about 70,000 troops in afghanistan. and what about, john the contrast in the two conventions? much was made that mitt romney did not mention afghanistan in his acceptance speech? >> it was extraordinary. usually you go to these conventions -- the democratic convention-- michelle obama was introduced by a woman who has four kids serbing. there were special tributes to the veterans, and when that tribute aired, signs went up across the venue, "thank you," to the veterans pfs it wavetera. it was like being at a republican convention. mitt romney did not mention it pointud on to my by bill cristal and mitt romney seemed unapologetic. >> it's worth mentioning the president has immunized himself from criticism on foreign policy, by continuity with the
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previous administration. his iran policy, tightening sanctions and other things, was really rooted in the bush era. some of the criticisms you can make on foreign policy-- not doing enough in syria-- are criticisms of not being interventionist enough and the public didn't want to hear those criticisms very much. i think the president has been very, very effective in, you know, forestalling criticism on this and making it an advantage. and romney has played into that. >> what about that, dee dee, and what about in president obama's speech, acceptance speech, where he used some of thiz toughest criticism against romney and ryan saying they would lead to a blundering and blustering foreign policy? some thought that was a little bit too tough or perhaps small for the president in a convention speech. >> well, i think it was a very small part of his convention acceptance speech. but i do think he wanted to make the point that these guys are amateurs. and he did harken back to the one time we have seen mitt romney on global stage, he made a rather hash of it. criticizing our strongest ally
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in a way that he didn't have to. it was like going over to somebody's house and saying, "you really need to change the carpet." that may be true but you don't have to say it out loud. romney has defended that trip and so i think it's just an opportunity for the president to draw a stark contrast. i think it was very effective. >> david, we just spoke, of course, with congressman ryan, and i asked him what he thought was our biggest national security threat. he said iran, a nuclear iran. that's different than what mitt romney had said, right? >> it is. what mitt romney safsd the biggest geopolitical threat the u.s. has, make something of a difference here, was russia, and you saw president obama sort of mock that during the-- during the convention speech. i think that two things are under way here. the first is that there is a bit of a continuing debate within the romney camp about what their foreign policy position should be. you've seen mr. romney move on afghanistan first thing. that the u.s. should kill all the taliban and saying he could
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live with the 2014 withdrawal date. uniform seen on iran, he's made the argument as you heard the congressman say today, that the president has been weak on iran. well, the president i think can argue that the sanctions are significantly stronger than they were during the bush era, and then, of course, 32 the part he couldn't talk about-- olympic games. not the one that just ended if london, but instead the covert operation against iran's nuclear program started in the bush administration as we pointed out here. but accelerated considerably if obama's time. the difficulty, i think, that the republicans are running into right now, norah, is that what the president is attempting to do during the convention was move the democrats to positions of being the national security party for the first time really since eisenhower was in office. that has not been the case. >> and kind of ironically-- or not traditionally-- it's one of
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obama's strong suits. if you look across-- it's not the economy, it's foreign policy, and that's a switch. >> they probably pushed the bin laden stuff a little bit too much in the course of doing going to do that. but i think they have made a convincing argument at a time that the country really feels like it's wrapped up in two different wars, that it does not-- that many people don't want to see a big, broad, foreign policy that involves sending 100,000 troops into countries again. >> all right, and we've got a lot to talk about in the larger political map, the state of this race, who has the advantage, after these two conventions. we'll be back with more from our panel in one minute.
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>> all right, we're back now with our political panel. and john, as promised, let's talk about where this race is. two months until election day, the conventions history. who has the advantage. >> i think-- talking to both
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romney and obama camps-- obama had a little bit of an advantage. he's getting a little bit of a bump coming out of his convention-- although the wet blanket of the jobs numbers on friday make everybody pretty tentative about saying what kind of size of bump he's got. the president has a better map, as they say. if you look at the battleground states they're competing in, the president doesn't have to win all nine. he is doing well in states that went for george bush, so he's tending to play on republican turf. the map looks a little bit better for him there. and, you know, voting is starting in iowa very soon, in less than three weeks. so it's one thing to keep in mind as we watch them travel, as we think about election day, some of this voting is going to start much earlier than in the beginning of november. >> i think it is-- it's a fairly stable race, if you look at the last few months, but not stable in a way that's very favorable to romney. on his best days, he's even with the president. on his worst days, he's three or four point behind. the ads haven't changed that. the ryan choice didn't change
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that. his convention address did not change that. he has dwindling opportunities to change the fundamental dynamics of this race, which puts tremendous pressure on the debates coming up beginning in october. he not only has to reassure people. he's got to persuade them to change their view, in many ways. that's a tough thing to do. >> talking to a top romney adviser, that first debate they think is the key one of the three, because after that impressions have been made, voting has taken place. >> dee dee, do you want to say that in your campaign, put all those expectations on one debate? it put a lot of pressure on your candidate. >> i don't think they would have started out, but that's where they've ended up. i think part of what we're seeing with the convention bounce is the republicans actually talked pretty openly that they expect a big bounce and she reason was they did invest a lot of time in june and july, introducing people to him. they said people aren't paying attention. we're going to introduce him in august in the convention and we'll go from there. that didn't work. and it may be that the obama strategy, which was to go negative on romney earlier, to
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define him, to define him as somebody out of touch with the middle class, who doesn't really care about ordinary people, may be proving effective. there's only one day of polling after the friday's job number but it didn't show any measurable effect of that. so i think obama is in a strong approximation going forward. >> as david plouffe just said on our broadcast, they believe they have a small but important lead in a number of the battleground states. and even romney advisers acknowledge that a state like ohio is leaning in the president's collection, and nobody has won the presidency without ohio. certainly romney could win without ohio but he would have to win other states. >> he would basically have to win other eight. >> and he's behind in states they know they have to win like new mexico, and nevada, and virginia. very tight race but the president is slightly ahead. >> david you've covered a number of white houses and you see where this race is going in the final two months. what is it that romney could do to break through-- i mean, the obama people keep saying we'll be able to keep a lid on
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romney's rise, and that's why they feel good about it. >> one of the fascinating things is one thing that doesn't seem to be working for him right now is spending huge amounts of money. this has been the media preservation act of 2012. there's more money spent on more advertising that's moves polls less than i think anybody could imagine. >> it's somewhat remarkable. he's got, i think, two big challenges. one is to leap on the events that happened between now and the election. and there are still some unpredictables out there. we've seen most of the economic numbers. we haven't seen them all. but the second thing is you've got a lot of things happening in the world that he's going to have to leap on to make the case that the president is mismanaging. syria is one. iran is another. if israel acts against iran, that could be-- could be a third. and so, is it could be that what ends up dominating the discussion of the last few weeks is something that we're not
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seeing right now. >> i would only add that obama has two challenges out there, too, that i think they recognize. one of them is he's pursuing a base strategy, so turnout of your own people really matters. and there is an enthusiasm gap they measure and are concerned about, among minority groups other ands that support the president, that they have to take seriously. second one is whether overall economic numbers, which we just saw, act as a wet blanket on this, and kind of create a ceiling below 50% for the president that makes it just hard for him to get those incremental gains going forward. that could be a real challenge for him. >> but there is also an infrastructure gap. they have invest millions of dollars in the previous months, months when romney couldn't because he was still trying to win a primary-- in very sophisticated voter targeting and turnout. they know not only who the undecideert voters are and why. they're not that interested-- >> to make up for enthusiasm with organization. and that could partially work but i think enthusiasm's better.
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>> there isn't genuine enthusiasm about romney. >> no, but he does have a little more room to move with the swing voters. there aren't many swing voters -- >> there aren't many. >> he has the chance to define himself-- >> he is not going to win them three to one. >> he has to win a lot and there have to be enough and that's the big challenge but he could still make some room. it hasn't totally shut off, whereas for the president, there is a bit of a limit put on him by the constant bad economic news. >> and the big limit that i think that he has not sort of leapt through, romney has not leapt through here, is that the president in his convention speech did not do a very good job of laying out what-- how the second term would differ from the first term. and this gives an opening to romney to say here is a real economic plan. so far, we haven't seen either candidate, you know, do that. in fact i can't remember two less memorable convention speeches than these two. >> all right, so we're all looking forward to october, and
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that first time we will see barack obama and mitt romney next to each other debating these important issues. we'll be back in a moment if ,,,,,,,,,,
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>> the national polls show the campaign in a dead heat, but for most of the country, the election is already settled as nearly 40 states are safely in the president's or governor romney's column. it's voter voters in 8-10 palacd states who will determine this race. we brought in top polling experts to talk about those states for our "face the nation" google hangout." >> have we seen in any of the key battleground states where mitt romney has a lead? >> one, and that's in colorado. so in five out of the six, obama has a lead. it's generally a small lead, except for pennsylvania, which most analysts now are thinking pretty safely blue. looking at florida, our most recent poll two weeks ago, it was a three-point lead for obama. virginia, four-point lead. and ohio, six-point lead.
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>> the reaso reason they're batd ground states is because the stateses are pretty evenly balanced. and the small percentage, moderates and independents, people who don't pay much attention to politics, those are the ones who are up for grabs, still. >> anthony, can mitt romney win if he takes just colorado and north carolina away from barack obama? >> no. i think he's got to probably win florida, probably win ohio, at least one of those. you know, he does have a few paths to victory, even without a couple of those big states, but it just becomes much harder for him. >> and we'll be right back. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level.
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>> that's it for us today. bob will be back next sunday and i will see you tomorrow on "cbs this morning." captioning sponsored by cbs
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tv
Face the Nation
CBS September 9, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

News/Business. (2012) President Barack Obama; vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan; White House adviser David Plouffe. New. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Romney 9, Afghanistan 6, Obama 6, Mark Owen 6, Pelley 5, Navy 4, Scott Pelley 4, Scott 3, Syria 2, Virginia 2, Iran 2, Pentagon 2, Barack Obama 2, The Navy 2, Colorado 2, Florida 2, Ryan 2, Dee Dee 2, Hp 1, Owen 1
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